Thursday, June 30, 2016

Math Direction: Ten Questions Lead the Way

Ten questions will lead the 2016-2017 fifth grade math teaching/learning program.

1. Who are we? What do we know and what do we want to know?
As we discuss who we are as a learning team of students, teachers, and family members, we'll think about the ways that we can collect and analyze data to create an infographic and other models of who our learning team is. Then we'll draw from that data all year.

2. How does our community behave?
We'll engage in a number of teaching/learning experiences that focus on apt discipline and behavior for optimal math study, practice, and share.

3. What are the digits? What are numbers? What do we know about the landmark numbers 1-12, 25, 50, 75, 100, 200, 500, 1,000?
As we review operations, math facts, math vocabulary, and order of operations, we'll explore the world of the number 0-12. This study provides a good review and lays a valuable foundation for year's math study. This focus also provides a terrific way to introduce multiple math tools including rulers, calculators, tech tools, and coordinate grids.

4. In what ways can we analyze, discuss, and measure?
Students will create and study two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures as they learn about geometry, area, perimeter, and volume.

5. How does the base ten system behave?
We'll explore the "behavior" of the base ten system in multiple ways, and hopefully work to make models and code animations that demonstrate this behavior.

6. How do we "operate" on numbers?
Students will study, review, and apply number operations as they create and solve real-world multi-step math problems.

7. When and how do we measure length, capacity, and mass? What is proportional reasoning?
Practicing measurement with problems related to matter.

8. What's the difference between whole numbers and fraction/decimal parts?
We'll look at the relationships between and amongst whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. We'll explore where and why we use the various numbers and how we manipulate these numbers using many models, operations, and algorithms?

9. How does math help us to solve real world problems successfully?

10. What place does math hold when it comes to STEAM projects, exploration, and study?

I am just starting to explore the use of big questions to lead each math unit. I am not yet satisfied with these questions, but will continue to brainstorm more about this as I consider the strength and areas for growth with regard to this year's teaching and learning in math.

I welcome your wisdom in this regard.